Could you present yourself to our readers and tell them the position you currently hold?
Hello, I’m Pavlos Ventouris and I’m an Architect/Visual Artist from Greece based in Rotterdam. I’m currently working at MVRDV at the Visualization department.
Why have you decided to become an Arch-Viz Artist?
Since I remember, I was fascinated by the creation. In my younger ages, I spent most of my free time drawing and building things around, which eventually led me to study Architecture. During my University years my main side activities were painting and filmmaking. After a lot of experimentation, I found myself trying (not successfully) to make some digital video magic painting stuff frame by frame in Photoshop and I think that was my first contact with visual effects. As I was reaching the end of my studies I realized that I was more fascinated by the Visuals than the actual Architecture. I spent a few time bouncing between Architecture, Filmmaking and VFX and after wasting 9 months in a military base somewhere in Cyprus thinking about it, I realized that I had to reach a compromise with a combination of them. So there I am doing Arch-Viz!
Do you think that your career got advantages from your experiences at SOA? How?
Each project has its own challenges and I think that Arch-Viz is more about problem solving than just knowing the software. The biggest advantage about SOA approach is that they focus more on strategies and techniques they learned in their past experiences rather than just teach only how to push buttons.
What were the biggest difficulties you faced at the beginning of your working experience? How did you handle and overcome them?
Working on Architecture is like a race. Everything is done last moment, everything changes in the process and everything of course needs to be delivered as soon as possible! Being flexible and able to adjust things is one of the most important skills on this industry. This was my main struggle at the beginning. As time passed, I worked more and gained more experience: this helped me to figure out what I have to avoid and what I have to add to my workflow to be able to face changes and increase my flexibility. SOA Masterclass helped me with this a lot!
Is there a work/ an image/ a project that you created which is most valuable to you? Why?
You cannot like all the projects you have done. Nevertheless, I try to put something special on each project if it is possible, of course, to do so. Inspired by good old Stanley’s way of storytelling (Kubrick), I try to create multiple things in my images. On the first level there should always be the story around the building, the space, how it is used and how it makes the people happy to live in. Besides this, there is always something more happening: it could be comments on the design (which is usually not mine) or on other things that are happening around; it can also be inside jokes with the designing teams. All elements on my scenes are placed on a way for a certain reason, not only for the composition but also for the story behind it. I just like stories….
What do you do in your free time after work? Can you balance your working life and your private one?
Balancing work with private life had always been tricky. In my case, extreme working hours are balanced with extreme activities. In my free time I do activities such as scuba diving, travelling, urban exploration and some more old bad habits. I try to stay away from the screen as much as possible to keep my eyes and mind fresh! Body should always be in motion on free time to compensate the sitting time at work. To balance the office time I found really helpful to make constant brakes playing the piano (cause we’re lucky to have one nearby).